Learn about the artists, movements, and trends behind your favorite styles of art—from Classical to Contemporary, and hitting everything in between, including Street Art, Pop Art, Impressionism, and Abstract Expressionism. Save Save. Chelsea is the Marketing Associate at Saatchi Art. She likes Neoclassical art, text messaging, and that's pretty much it. Find her Tweeting saatchiart, and Instagramming saatchiart.
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These mini-movements included: 1 Tachismea style of abstract painting marked by splotches and dabs of colour, was promoted as the French answer to American Abstract Expressionism. However much affected by the demands of style or medium, a Abstract art history nude of art had to imitate or represent external reality. Jean Arp was also an active sculptor who specialized in Organic Abstraction, as did the English sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth He was also responsible, infor coining the term "Concrete Art". The sources from which individual artists drew their theoretical arguments were diverse, Spanking gallaries reflected the social and intellectual preoccupations in all areas of Western culture at that time. I understand. Artists and teachers John D. In Tokugawa Japan, some Zen monk-painters created EnsoDancer diego exotic san circle who represents the absolute enlightenment. Cum Abstract art history nude find out why Eric Clapton sings about me! Certain artists at this time became distinctly abstract in their mature work. Add Tag. Wassily Kandinskyhimself an amateur musician,    was inspired by the possibility of marks and associative color resounding in the soul. Article Media. An early rudimentary form was Cubismspecifically analytical Cubism - which rejected linear perspective and the illusion of spatial depth in a painting, in order to focus on its 2-D aspects. As you might expect, it is characterized by non-naturalistic imagery, typically geometrical shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, and so forth.
The nude figure is a tradition in Western art , and has been used to express ideals of male and female beauty and other human qualities.
- Abstract art , also called nonobjective art or nonrepresentational art , painting , sculpture , or graphic art in which the portrayal of things from the visible world plays no part.
- Originating in Europe in the late 19th century, Abstract art fully emerged in the early 20th century when a decline in the appreciation of Realism became more common among Avant-garde artists of the period.
- Abstract art uses visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.
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- Goya's Nude Maja, confident in her nakedness as she unashamedly gazes out at the viewer, is infamous for her direct confrontation.
The nude figure is a tradition in Western art , and has been used to express ideals of male and female beauty and other human qualities. It was a central preoccupation of Ancient Greek art , and after a semi-dormant period in the Middle Ages returned to a central position in Western art with the Renaissance.
Athletes, dancers, and warriors are depicted to express human energy and life, and nudes in various poses may express basic or complex emotions such as pathos. Unclothed figures often also play a part in other types of art, such as history painting , including allegorical and religious art , portraiture , or the decorative arts. Nude female figures called Venus figurines are found in the art of the Upper Palaeolithic , and in historical times, similar images represent fertility deities.
Other significant non-Western traditions of depicting nudes come from India , and Japan, but the nude does not form an important aspect of Chinese art. Temple sculptures and cave paintings, some very explicit, are part of the Hindu tradition of the value of sexuality, and as in many warm climates partial or complete nudity was common in everyday life.
Japan had a tradition of mixed communal bathing that existed until recently, and was often portrayed in woodcut prints. The earliest Greek sculpture , from the early Bronze Age Cycladic civilization consists mainly of stylized male figures who are presumably nude. This is certainly the case for the kouros , a large standing figure of a male nude that was the mainstay of Archaic Greek sculpture.
The first realistic sculptures of nude males, the kouroi depict nude youths who stand rigidly posed with one foot forward. An important innovation was contrapposto —the asymmetrical posture of a figure standing with one leg bearing the body's weight and the other relaxed. An early example of this is Polykleitos ' sculpture Doryphoros ca. In the convention of heroic nudity , gods and heroes were shown nude, while ordinary mortals were less likely to be so, though athletes and warriors in combat were often depicted nude.
In Ancient Greece, where the mild climate was conducive to being lightly-clothed or nude whenever convenient, and male athletes competed at religious festivals entirely nude, and celebrated the human body, it was perfectly natural for the Greeks to associate the male nude form with triumph, glory, and even moral excellence. In the mid-fourth century BCE, the sculptor Praxiteles made a nude Aphrodite , called the Knidian, which established a new tradition for the female nude, having idealized proportions based on mathematical ratios as were the nude male statues.
The nudes of Greco-Roman art are conceptually perfected ideal persons, each one a vision of health, youth, geometric clarity, and organic equilibrium. Kenneth Clark considered idealization the hallmark of true nudes, as opposed to more descriptive and less artful figures that he considered merely naked. His emphasis on idealization points up an essential issue: seductive and appealing as nudes in art may be, they are meant to stir the mind as well as the passions.
Christian attitudes cast doubt on the value of the human body, and the Christian emphasis on chastity and celibacy further discouraged depictions of nakedness, even in the few surviving Early Medieval survivals of secular art.
Completely unclothed figures are rare in medieval art, the notable exceptions being Adam and Eve and the damned in Last Judgement scenes, and the ideal forms of Greco-Roman nudes are completely lost, transformed into symbols of shame and sin, weakness and defenselessness. The Nursing Madonna and naked "Penitent Mary Magdalene" , as well as the infant Jesus , whose penis was sometimes emphasized for theological reasons, are other exceptions with elements of nudity in medieval religious art.
By the late medieval period female nudes intended to be attractive edged back into art, especially in the relatively private medium of the illuminated manuscript , and in classical contexts such as the Signs of the Zodiac and illustrations to Ovid. The shape of the female "Gothic nude" was very different from the classical ideal, with a long body shaped by gentle curves, a narrow chest and high waist, small round breasts, and a prominent bulge at the stomach as in the Hugo van der Goes at left.
The rediscovery of classical culture in the Renaissance restored the nude to art. Donatello made two statues of the Biblical hero David , a symbol for the Republic of Florence : his first in marble, — shows a clothed figure, but his second, probably of the s, is the first freestanding statue of a nude since antiquity,  several decades before Michelangelo 's massive David — Nudes in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling reestablished a tradition of male nudes in depictions of Biblical stories; the subject of the martyrdom of the near-naked Saint Sebastian had already become highly popular.
The monumental female nude returned to Western art in with The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli for the Medici family , who also owned the classical Venus de' Medici , whose pose Botticelli adapted. The Dresden Venus of Giorgione c. Although they reflect the proportions of ancient statuary, such figures as Titian's Venus and the Lute Player and Venus of Urbino highlight the sexuality of the female body rather than its ideal geometry.
In addition to adult male and female figures, the classical depiction of Eros became the model for the naked Christ child. Raphael in his later years is usually credited as the first artist to consistently use female models for the drawings of female figures, rather than studio apprentices or other boys with breasts added, who were previously used.
The nude figure drawing or figure study of a live model rapidly became an important part of artistic practice and training, and remained so until the 20th century. The Fall — by Hugo van der Goes. Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Reclining Nymph by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Venus of Urbino by Titian.
Rebellious Slave by Michelangelo. Venus by Lucas Cranach the Elder. In Baroque art, the continuing fascination with classical antiquity influenced artists to renew their approach to the nude, but with more naturalistic, less idealized depictions, perhaps more frequently working from live models. Peter Paul Rubens , who with evident delight painted women of generous figure and radiant flesh, gave his name to the adjective rubenesque. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, classical subjects remained popular, along with nudes in historical paintings.
In the later nineteenth century, academic painters continued with classical themes, but were challenged by the Impressionists. Edgar Degas painted many nudes of women in ordinary circumstances, such as taking a bath. The Age of Bronze by Rodin , modeled after a Belgian soldier. The Wave by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Red Nude by Amedeo Modigliani. Although both the Academic tradition and Impressionists lost their cultural supremacy at the beginning of the twentieth century, the nude remained although transformed by the ideas of modernism.
The idealized Venus was replaced by the woman intimately depicted in private settings, as in the work of Egon Schiele. One of the primary influences in the rise of abstraction, the critic Clement Greenberg , had supported de Kooning's early abstract work. Despite Greenberg's advice, the artist, who had begun as a figurative painter, returned to the human form in early with his Woman series. Although having some references to the traditions of single female figures, the women were portrayed as voracious, distorted, and semi-abstract.
According to the artist, he wanted to "create the angry humor of tragedy"; having the frantic look of the atomic age, a world in turmoil, a world in need of comic relief. Later, he said "Maybe I was painting the woman in me. Art isn't a wholly masculine occupation, you know. I'm aware that some critics would take this to be an admission of latent homosexuality If I painted beautiful women, would that make me a non-homosexual?
I like beautiful women. In the flesh—even the models in magazines. Women irritate me sometimes. I painted that irritation in the Woman series. That's all. Other New York artists of this period retained the figure as their primary subject. Alice Neel painted nudes, including her own self-portrait, in the same straightforward style as clothed sitters,  being primarily concerned with color and emotional content. As a young artist in the s, Pearlstein exhibited both abstracts and figures, but it was deKooning that advised him to continue with figurative work.
Around , from feminist principles, Sylvia Sleigh painted a series of works reversing stereotypical artistic themes by featuring naked men in poses usually associated with women.
Lucien Freud was one of a small group of painters which included Francis Bacon who came to be known as "The School of London"; creating figurative work in the s when it was unfashionable. The paintings of Jenny Saville include family and self-portraits among other nudes; often done in extreme perspectives, attempting to balance realism with abstraction; all while expressing how a woman feels about the female nude. Two 'subjects' confronting each other.
The end of the twentieth century saw the rise of new media and approaches to art, although they began much earlier. In particular installation art often includes images of the human body, and performance art frequently includes nudity. Audience members were requested to come on stage and begin cutting away her clothing until she was naked.
Bala Krishna dancing, sculpture from Honolulu Academy of Arts. Kitagawa Utamaro , Bathing woman c Old-Babylonian plaque of a nude female with a large pubic area and a protuberant abdomen, from Southern Mesopotamia. In art, a figure drawing is a study of the human form in its various shapes and body postures , with line, form, and composition as the primary objective, rather than the subject person. A life drawing is a work that has been drawn from an observation of a live model.
Study of the human figure has traditionally been considered the best way to learning how to draw, beginning in the late Renaissance and continuing to the present. Japanese prints are one of the few non-western traditions that can be called nudes, but they are quite different. The activity of communal bathing in Japan is portrayed as just another social activity, without the significance placed upon the lack of clothing that exists in the West.
Oil paint historically has been the ideal medium for depicting the nude. By blending and layering paint, the surface can become more like skin. Due to its durability, it is in sculpture that we see the full, nearly unbroken history of the nude from the Stone Age to the present. Figures, usually of the naked female, have been found in the Balkan region dating back to 7, BCE  and continue to this day to be generated.
In the Indian and Southeast Asian sculpture tradition nudes were frequently adorned with bracelets and jewelry that tended to "punctuate their charms and demarcate the different parts of their bodies much as developed musculature does in the male. The nude has been a subject of photography almost since its invention in the nineteenth century. Early photographers often selected poses that imitated the classical nudes of the past.
In the late twentieth century several new art forms have emerged, including installations , performance , and video art all of which have been used to create works that include nudity. While there is no single definition of fine art, there are certain generally accepted features of most definitions.
In the fine arts, the subject is not merely copied from nature, but transformed by the artist into an aesthetic object, usually without significant utilitarian, commercial advertising , illustration , or purely decorative purposes.
There is also a judgement of taste; the fine art nude being part of high culture rather than middle brow or low culture. Modern artists have continued to explore classical themes, but also more abstract representations, and movement away from idealization to depict people more individually.
During most of the twentieth century, the depiction of human beauty was of little interest to modernists, who were concerned instead with the creation of beauty through formal means.
The introductory chapter makes though does not originate the often-quoted distinction  between the naked body and the nude. Clark states that to be naked is to be deprived of clothes, and implies embarrassment and shame, while a nude, as a work of art, has no such connotations. This separation of the artistic form from the social and cultural issues remains largely unexamined by classical art historians.
One of the defining characteristics of the modern era in art is the blurring of the line between the naked and the nude.
See: Prehistoric Abstract Signs. Postmodernist Abstraction. Much of the art of earlier cultures — signs and marks on pottery, textiles, and inscriptions and paintings on rock — used simple, geometric and linear forms which might have had a symbolic or decorative purpose. However, during the last quarter of the 19th century, things began to change. Likewise, the Abstract art movement which followed called for works which allowed for lucid analysis and meaning via lines, colours and shapes that had not been previously recognised in art.
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Prior to the 20th century these abstract elements were employed by artists to describe, illustrate, or reproduce the world of nature and of human civilization—and exposition dominated over expressive function. Abstract art has its origins in the 19th century. The period characterized by so vast a body of elaborately representational art produced for the sake of illustrating anecdote also produced a number of painters who examined the mechanism of light and visual perception.
Gradually many painters of this period began to accept the new freedom and the new responsibilities implied in the coalescence of these attitudes. All the major movements of the first two decades of the 20th century, including Fauvism , Expressionism , Cubism , and Futurism , in some way emphasized the gap between art and natural appearances.
There is, however, a deep distinction between abstracting from appearances, even if to the point of unrecognizability, and making works of art out of forms not drawn from the visible world. Kandinsky is generally regarded as having been the first modern artist to paint purely abstract pictures containing no recognizable objects, in — The majority of even the progressive artists regarded the abandonment of every degree of representation with disfavour, however.
Beset by totalitarian politics and by art movements placing renewed emphasis on imagery, such as Surrealism and socially critical Realism, it received little notice. Since the s abstract art has been an accepted and widely practiced approach within European and American painting and sculpture. Abstract art has puzzled and indeed confused many people, but for those who have accepted its nonreferential language there is no doubt as to its value and achievements.
See also modern art. Abstract art. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History. As with all artistic practices there too have been other underlying issues influencing the works of art of this category, the majority of which are political and cultural causes.
Artists such as Arshile Gorky and Marcel Duchamp are a few who created works which marked and signified their reactions to the shifts in their situations. Wassily Kandinsky , however, more concerned with the spiritual qualities present in art, aimed to convey this within his in artworks. Coming from a background in music he stated that like music visual art too could harbour emotion, and elements such as form and colour were capable of doing so.
Accordingly, he created his first abstract art work in Another event which effected and resulted in the emergence of Abstract art is the 19th century wave of independence given to artists. Artists were given more freedom and power to produce work which allowed them to develop their interests and capital within the new industrial and modern world. This cultural shift saw the start of a new era in experimentation of subject matter and composition which was a direct influence and essential principle of Abstract art.
As identified earlier, several artistic movements had the foundations of abstraction already present in their works. The highlights of Abstract art are the harbingers of experimentation in the modern era, two of which include Cubism and Fauvism.
No longer were the core ideas to be bound or possessed within the identities of the subject or figure, but by the more dominant and underlying structures of the work.
Hereby Abstract art has links not only to European art, but art associated with religions such as Islamic art, and cultures where non-figurative images and text are appreciated for their beauty i.
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Goya's Nude Maja, confident in her nakedness as she unashamedly gazes out at the viewer, is infamous for her direct confrontation. Rumored to be a portrait of Goya's own mistress, this painting was commissioned for the private boudoir of a wealthy patron, hidden from the public eye.
But when discovered, this erotically-charged masterpiece shocked audiences at the time and paved the way for the transgressive, boundary-pushing ethos of Modern Art. When asked to make a painting of an angel, Gustave Courbet, the father of Realism, famously said, "I have never seen angels. Show me one and I will paint one.
This daring emphasis on reality paved the way for the Impressionists like Monet to see the world through their own eyes rather than attempt for perfect illusionism. A virtuosic fusion of bright gold and luxurious red pigment, Klimt's Danae is one of the most beautiful paintings from the Viennese Symbolist movement. Portraying the classical princess as she is visited by Zeus as a shower of gold, Danae is as sensuous as a work on canvas can get.
This masterpiece is one of Matisse's early Fauvist paintings, known for their wild colors and fluid gestural lines. Matisse's model was not actually blue, of course, but the artist's eye steered him towards the subtle shadings of color that reflected his feeling rather than reality, creating paintings with deep emotional charge that still resonate today.
Marcel Duchamp, the enigmatic father of Contemporary Art, shocked audiences with this Cubist masterwork. The painting, ostensibly depicting a nude woman walking down a flight of stairs, has been so abstracted into geometric planes that it is impossible to determine any sense of concrete time or space.
With this work, Duchamp pushed Cubism farther than Picasso, paving the way for further explorations into abstraction, a main thrust of 20th century painting. Amedeo Modigliani began his professional career in Paris as a sculptor, before transitioning to work on canvas. His deep influences from African sculpture and Cubism are readily apparent in his painted nudes, in which one can practically feel the presence of the model.
Reclining Nude's eroticism is so palpable that when the painting was displayed in Paris in , the gallery was almost immediately closed by police due to obscenity. Now the work stands as one of the true masterpieces of the early 20th century. Encapsulating the early Expressionist movement, Schiele's tortured, passionate works on paper directly communicate the link between sex and death, pleasure and pain—as elaborated by the theories of Sigmund Freud.
The artist's twisted line creates crooked figures that seem almost disfigured, but still deeply beautiful and sensuous. In the mid 20th century, Pop Art, as championed by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Tom Wesselmann, brought American popular culture into the realm of high art—utilizing the language of advertising and celebrity to turn a mirror on the fast, bright American world of capitalism and consumption. Wesselmann's Great American Nude series used the style of Playboy centerfolds to update the nude to a contemporary context: one heavily focused on the objectification and commodification of sex rather than its psychological aspect.
His sleek, colorful, alluring nudes offer themselves to the viewer in an explicitness not yet seen in art history. The grandson of Sigmund Freud, Lucien Freud painted intimate, revealing portraits which turn a raw light onto the human form, exposing flesh in all of its mottled, awkward detail. Freud had deep connections with his models, often making them sit for a year or more for a single portrait.
In this portrait of Sue Tilly, Freud abandons the classical desire for the idealized form to instead create a work with an immediate and intense emotional impact. Until this point, this list has only included white male artists, with women only able to participate in art as a naked objects of desire. Mickalene Thomas, an African-American woman living in Brooklyn, subverts this trope, instead creating paintings that empower their subjects by injecting African-American voice into art history.
By painting a nude in the same pose as Courbet or Manet, but one whose black identity is readily on display, Thomas forces the viewer to confront the legacy of objectification and sexism inherent in the art historical narrative. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. The 20 Best Anti-Aging Serums. The 40 Most Beautiful Places in the World.
Getty Images. Francisco Goya, The Nude Maja, Gustave Courbet, Sleeping Nude Woman, Gustav Klimt, Danae, Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, Amedeo Modigliani, Reclining Nude, Tom Wesselmann, Great American Nude 92, Lucien Freud, Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. More From NudeWeek. How to Give a Proper Striptease.
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